BOYLESPORTS.COM GOLD CUP ON AGENDA FOR KILL DEVIL HILL
Irish trainer Paul Nolan revealed today that the £150,000 Boylesports.com Gold Cup is under consideration for Grade One winning chaser Kill Devil Hill.
The prestigious two mile, five furlong handicap chase takes place on day two of Cheltenham's mouth-watering Boylesports International, Saturday, December 9.
The Boylesports.com Gold Cup has received a £40,000 prize money boost thanks to the generous support of Boylesports, Ireland's fastest growing independent bookmaker.
Kill Devil Hill won the Grade One Pierse Group Drinmore Novice Chase at Fairyhouse in December, 2005, and made a pleasing return to action this term when a short-head second to last season's Boylesports.com Gold Cup victor Sir Oj in the Grade Two Clonmel Oil Chase over two and a half miles at Clonmel on November 16.
The six-year-old runs under the same Gigginstown House Stud ownership as totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup hero War Of Attrition, who is trained by Mouse Morris.
Nolan revealed today: "The Boylesports.com Gold Cup is under consideration. At the moment, we're looking at where War Of Attrition goes. Mouse may run him in the John Durkan Memorial Chase and we'll enter Kill Devil Hill in that too.
"We'll know where we go when Mouse makes his mind up whether he goes for the John Durkan - and I think he'll probably go for that - so at this stage the Boylespots.com Gold Cup is an option.
"Chasing this year is very competitive. There are so many good horses both in Ireland and England so we'll be looking to try to win a good race with him. Hopefully, we'll pick the right one and he'll get his lucky day.
"He ran a cracker at Clonmel and came out of the race very well. Hopefully, we can keep him healthy and go one better next time."
Kill Devil Hill took high rank among Ireland's novice chasers last term following his Pierse Group Drinmore Novice Chase triumph but failed to fire in three subsequent outings last season, prior to his excellent Clonmel effort.
Nolan explained: "He's only six years of age and is basically a big baby. He's a very big horse - going on for 17 hands - and last year he just went downhill after he won the Pierse Group Drinmore Novice Chase.
He ran respectably but didn't recapture his Drinmore form at all. He wouldn't scope 100 per cent clean, then he would be fine and then he'd go wrong on us. His immune system wasn't up to scratch and we're hoping this year that he'll be stronger and healthier, and will be able to fight these bugs a bit better."
The superb seven-race card on Saturday, December 9 also features the £200,000 Boylesports.com International over two miles and a furlong, which was won last year by the brilliant Noel Meade-trained Harchibald, who could return this year, with Greatwood Hurdle victor Detroit City set to be one of his top-class rivals.
The Grade Two Boylesports.com International is one of the season's premier races for Smurfit Kappa Champion Hurdle candidates. Boylesports has transformed the prize money and is also offering a huge £200,000 bonus (£180,000 to the owner, £10,000 to the trainer & £10,000 to the yard's stable staff) to any horse that can win the Boylesports.com International and the Smurfit Kappa Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham on March 13.
The feature race of the high-quality seven-race programme on Friday, December 8, is the Boylepoker.com Chase over three miles, one and a half furlongs, which carries tremendous doubled prize money of £100,000.
The race was won last year by the Paul Nicholls-trained Royal Auclair, runner-up in the 2005 John Smith's Grand National.
The Boylesports International stages two days of fantastic racing on Friday, December 8, and Saturday, December 9. All races will take place on Cheltenham's New Course, which has not been used since May.